72 Hours: Ted Leo, Gang of Four, Admiral Radley lead this weekend's show lineup
A weekly(-ish) look at some of this weekend's top gigs around Los Angeles.
Twin @ the Smell. A quiet headliner at downtown's Smell, but one still worth a look. Hailing from Winnipeg, Canada, and largely the moniker of David Fort, who also plays with Canadian group Absent Sound, Twin's folk is full of hurried acoustic guitar lines and spooky backing harmonies that conjure lonely nights in mountainous lands and a life of hard living. Yet Fort takes a matter-of-fact approach toward tragedy, urging listeners -- and the objects of his affection -- not to do the same. The Smell, 247 S. Main St. Admission is $5. -- Todd Martens
Vanessa Paradis @ the Orpheum. The vocal charms of Paradis are hard to resist, unless, for some reason, you have an aversion to the French language. The singer-actress-model -- yes, the one in a long-standing relationship with Johnny Depp -- is something of a stylistic shape-shifter. Her soft voice is pillow-comfort, and she coos the kind of ballads meant for classic Hollywood love stories. Yet this won't be a night of sitting back, as Paradis has a deft touch with an orchestral rock songs as well. The Orpheum, 842 S. Broadway. Tickets: $35-$55, not including surcharges. -- TM
Admiral Radley @ the Satellite. Jason Lytle's work with Grandaddy is dearly missed, and the California native found an easy balance between humor, honesty and effervescent melodies. Admiral Radley, which also features former Grandaddy drummer Aaron Burtch, as well as Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray of locals Earlimart, manages to strike a similar chord. Songs like "I Heart California," for instance, contrast distressed images of the West Coast with sparkling-clean digital effects and fuzzy-warm guitars. It's black humor as pop. The Satellite, 1717 Silverlake Blvd. Tickets are $12. -- TM
An Evening with Ted Leo @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts. An eclectic night of comedy and aggressively smart punk rock from Ted Leo, who will perform solo and participate in a Q&A. Paul F. Tompkins, the Sklar Brothers and more will also be on hand to provide the laughs. With luck, Leo will perform just about anything from his 2003 album, "Hearts of Oak," but his 2010 album, "The Brutalist Bricks," continues his run purveying some of the tightest power pop anthems in the business. Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, 2225 Colorado Blvd. Tickets are $10. (Read The Times story.) -- Chris Barton
Fred Katz @ the Skirball Cultural Center. Fred Katz is on the cusp of his 92nd birthday, and the cellist, educator and influential synthesizer of jazz with Hebraic and African melodies on the landmark 1959 album "Folk Songs for Far Out Folk" will be performing in public for only the second time in 20 years. Joining Katz will be his son Hyman on flute, bassist Richard Simon, guitarist John Pisano and vocalist Jeanne Pisano. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Tickets are $15. -- CB
Gang of Four @ House of Blues Anaheim. Aggression rarely comes with this much groove, and after a well-deserved victory lap in the mid-200s, the art-punk act, albeit with a retooled lineup, is hitting the pavement with original material. Founding members Jon King and Andy Gill remain, but the new rhythm section of bassist Thomas McNeice and drummer Mark Heaney stepped up to provide the requisite level of militaristic antagonism. Spacious, angular and surprisingly funky, the U.K.'s Gang of Four has left a lasting impression on rock 'n' roll, with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and R.E.M., among many others, singing its praises. House of Blues Anaheim, 1530 S. Disneyland Drive. Tickets are $22.50 in advance, not including surcharges. The band also plays Monday at the Music Box in Hollywood. -- TM
Images, top: Ted Leo Gang at 2010's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Credit: Katie Falkenber / Los Angeles Times; Gang of Four's Jon King at Coachella in 2005. Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times.